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Fri Nov 30, 2012, 10:08 AM

Okinawa Move, Key To Pacific Pivot, Will Cost More Than $10.6B: GAO

http://defense.aol.com/2012/11/29/okinawa-move-key-to-pacific-pivot-will-cost-more-than-10-6b/




Okinawa Move, Key To Pacific Pivot, Will Cost More Than $10.6B: GAO
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
Published: November 29, 2012

WASHINGTON: Sloppy number-crunching at the Department of Defense means that the official price tag to move 9,000 Marines off Okinawa to Guam, Hawaii, and Australia already estimated at a whopping $10.6 billion is probably short of the real cost, according to a draft Government Accountability Office (GAO) report obtained by AOL Defense.

The U.S. plans to move 4,700 of 8,000 Marines to Guam and send the others elsewhere: 1,800 would go to Hawaii far from the action in the Western Pacific and the rest to Australia where the US is building up a "rotational" presence of 2,500 Marines (not all of them relocated from Okinawa) rather than permanent bases. The Pentagon's cost estimate is $10.6 billion.

The draft GAO report suggests that figure is still too low. The Defense Department is not counting everything it needs to, according to GAO, whose name was "General Accounting Office" until 2004 and which is famous for its scrupulous, exhaustive cost studies of federal programs. For example, the DoD estimate simply assumed the cost of relocating one Marine to Hawaii or Australia would be the same as relocating one to Guam. But Hawaii is one of the most expensive states in the union, with existing bases already hemmed in by the civilian population, and there are no US military facilities in Australia, whereas 30 percent of the military housing already built on Guam is sitting empty. GAO also cited a host of other unknowns, from unfinished environmental impact studies to the Army Corps of Engineers' ability to supervise so many simultaneous projects to Japanese cost-sharing pledges on which Tokyo has now reneged.

Just coming up with the relocation plan has been a six-year ordeal. Military facilities on Okinawa are now starting to decay because of deferred maintenance, even as DoD pays to keep up facilities on Guam that stand empty awaiting the Marines and their familes, said the GAO report.

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Reply Okinawa Move, Key To Pacific Pivot, Will Cost More Than $10.6B: GAO (Original post)
unhappycamper Nov 2012 OP
msongs Nov 2012 #1

Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:10 PM

1. great explanation of why the military is causing our humongous deficit nt

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